APIA MINISTERIAL COMMUNIQUE: Leota Kosi Latu ( Director SPREP), Dr. Colin Tukuitonga ( Secretary General, SPC), Hon. Penisimani Epenisa Fifita ( Tonga Minister of Education and Training), Hon. Charmaine Scotty ( Nauru Minister of Education), Sir Peter Gluckman ( Chairman INGSA – Chief Science Advisor to NZ Prime Minister), Hon. Mahendra Reddy ( Fiji Minister of Education), Ernesto Fernandez Pocluch ( UNESCO Paris). Standing – (L-R) Hon. Jean- Pierre Nirua (Vanuatu Minister of Education), Nisha ( Director, UNESCO Apia), Hon. Loau Solamalemalo Keneti Sio ( Samoa Minister of Education, Sports and Culture)
One significant outcome of the Dialogue on Science and Science Policy for the SDGs in the Pacific SIDS, is the Apia Ministerial Communiqué.
The Dialogue was organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and International Network of Government Science Advice INGSA in collaboration with in collaboration with the Government of New Zealand and the Government of Samoa from 29-30 March in Apia, Samoa.
The Dialogue spoke of needs and options for bridging the gaps between science, technology and innovation (ST&I) systems for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Pacific Small Islands Developing States (SIDS).
The ministers who participated in the Dialogue have committed themselves to ensure support towards the development of a relevant ST&I framework and national policies that address issues in science education, science advice, traditional scientific knowledge systems and capacities in all ST&I areas.
The Apia Ministerial Communiqué gives a summary of the outcomes and expectation from the Dialogue. The ministers attempted to identify the best ways to take forward the dialogue towards action in future for the realization of the SDGs and simultaneously strengthen the dialogue within and outside the Pacific SIDS.
Through the Apia Ministerial Communiqué, the Ministers call on the UNESCO to collaborate with the members of the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP) and support the Pacific SIDS in their endevours to join the initiatives that would result from this Dialogue.
The Communiqué requests the UNESCO for intensive work so ST&I policy and development become a reality to support the Pacific SIDS in the environment of globalized growth and climate change.
Participants in this Dialogue included policymakers and researchers from Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu and the ministers responsible for education from Fiji, Nauru, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.
From among the CROP, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the University of the South Pacific (USP) contributed to the Dialogue.